Training Tools Spotlight: Is Safety a Core Value?

Training Tools Spotlight: Is Safety a Core Value?


By Derek Vannice, President and COO

Over the past couple of years, CNUC has put an added focus on safety. As a management team, we truly believe it is a core value of our company and a part of our culture. We have instituted several safety initiatives to keep safety in front of our employees. We want all of our employees to go home safe each and every day.

These initiatives include a weekly driving tip emailed to all of our employees, a weekly safety text message, our weekly safety calls and quarterly quizzes. We continually track our incidents and they have gone down slightly. We understand that tracking incidents is a lagging indicator. Once an incident occurs it is too late. How do we know what our employees are thinking and feeling about safety? Are all our safety initiatives influencing how our employees think about safety? Are we inundating them with so much information that it is no longer effective?

We decided to survey our employees to find out. We asked them key questions: Do they believe we care about their safety? Do they believe safety is a core value at CNUC? Are our safety initiatives just right, too much, or not enough?

The results were very encouraging but there are a few areas where we believe we can improve. More than 95 percent of our employees completed the survey. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being strongly agree, we scored an average of 4.7 in regard to safety as a core value and whether they believe we care about their safety. Only a few employees did not agree or strongly agree with those statements. Regarding our safety initiatives, the vast majority of our employees felt that we have the appropriate amount of initiatives and they are all important.

As is the case in most surveys, the open ended comments are much more revealing. One trend that we noticed in the comments is the need to better communicate why we are launching a specific initiative. This is certainly an area where we can improve. The management team has a detailed discussion on why we launch a specific initiative but we don’t really explain to our employees why we do it. If employees understand why we are launching a specific program or initiative, the chances of employee buy-in is greatly improved. Moving forward, we will focus on communicating more explicitly when we launch new programs.

The second trend we noted is the need for more face-to face interaction. We work very hard at trying to spend time visiting our employees in the field but there are some contracts where that is very difficult. As a management team, we will be working on some different ideas to address this concern.

Overall, the survey reinforced that we are doing the right thing in regard to our employees’ safety. We just need to continue to find ways to better communicate why we are doing it.

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